The Goddess Attainable has been silent since the COVID-19 outbreak began, but she feels the need to emerge at this time. For one thing, I (switching from third person to first person now) was really struggling to find my own balance with all of it, and I don’t find it useful to create blog posts when I’m a mess. Now that I have found a bit more stability, I also feel a bit shy about saying anything because it is so abundantly obvious that this experience has been so uniquely individual for each of us. Now that the world is becoming even further transformed (hopefully for the better) since the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, followed by subsequent looting outbreaks in cities across the country, I am at a loss for what to say and how to say it. I will say, to start, just to clear the air: RACISM IS DUMB. RACISM IS BAD. IF YOU ARE RACIST, STOP IT. IF YOU THINK YOU AREN’T RACIST, TAKE THE TIME TO EXAMINE THIS MORE DEEPLY FOR YOURSELF, AS THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. BE HUMBLE AND LISTEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN OPPRESSED MORE THAN YOU HAVE. I KNOW THERE IS ROOM FOR ME TO IMPROVE IN THIS AREA, BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING AND THAT’S HOW WE ARE BUILT—IMPERFECT AND FLAWED. DON’T ASSUME YOU ARE RIGHT AND BE OPEN TO BEING WRONG. IF YOU ARE NOT A PERSON OF COLOR, THEN YOU SHOULD PROBABLY BE LISTENING MORE THAN TALKING, WHICH IS WHY I’M GOING TO SHUT UP NOW.
Whew, glad I got that off my chest.
As for our quarantine, I am finally at a point now where I am no longer terrified of getting sick, dying, or catching COVID-19. The threat is still very real and still very there, but I have adjusted to the precautions and restraints, I know they work, because I haven’t gotten sick yet, and no one around me has gotten sick, and if I continue to be careful, I hope that all will be well. So now that the imminent threats of death and illness have lessened, I have been able to really focus on living in quarantine and finding peace within the chaos.
[This post and my perspective in no way means to disregard and/or ignore the fact that many, many unfortunate people are in a far riskier day-to-day living situation than I am. I think of them often and feel nothing but gratitude for the fact that I have the privilege and luxury of being able to work from home, receive a paycheck, and continue to remain in a safe bubble until this passes over. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have this, and my heart pulls for them.]
For the rest of this post, I would like to just let ya’ll know what I’ve been up to, since I’ve kind of been up to a lot. In some ways, I’ve been more productive than I have been in a long time, since I’m not having to deal with the daily commute to work and the obligation of being tied to an office for 40 hours every week. This has opened up so much time and space in my life and I have been able to focus on so many projects while still fulfilling my duties to my career, of which I care very much about.
TEN HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GODDESS ATTAINABLE IN QUARANTINE
1. This is more of a lowlight than a highlight, but it’s worth noting, nonetheless. I experienced the second worst night of my life during quarantine, when I was temporarily living with my partner (there was a mouse in my apartment and I was just too scared to stay there). A tip for all: if you have uncooked chicken that’s been in your fridge for four days, it’s too late to cook it, and definitely too late to eat it. My partner has a stomach of steel and eats crap all of the time, but I, for the most part, eat very healthy and don’t ever overdo it with meat. That night of chicken hell, I ultimately endured a bout of food poisoning that I never hope to experience again. At one point, I was so fatigued from exploding out my bum that I was hunched over on the toilet and fell off of it because my body was so caput. When I began breaking into a cold sweat, I called for my partner. He entered the bathroom to find me collapsed with my face plastered to the cold floor, my pants and panties down around my ankles, shirt soaked from perspiration, moaning and speaking incoherently. At one point, he had to hoist me back onto the toilet, only for me to fall off again from sheer exhaustion. After about thirty more minutes of prolonged nausea, I finally puked and began to feel slightly better. I slept hard and sound and pooped water for the next 24 hours, but was on my way to recovery.
The only thing I ate for the 24 hours following my food poisoning, March 12, 2020.
2. Following my food poisoning bout, I was in quite a dark place at this point. I was scared, weak, living in someone else’s place, without all of my things, and uncertain of everything. My routines were upheaved, and my emotions were dark. However, often in dark times, I become quite inspired, and felt very charged to transmute these dark emotions into something beautiful. It’s what I do as an artist and as a person on a path of healing and growth. Three days later, March 15, 2020, I created my first Quarantine Art piece, and continued to create one piece a day for the next several weeks. This became an integral healing tool for me, and making my quarantine art became the highlight of my day. I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for this project, and I wonder if I would still be lingering in the darkness, lost, hopeless, and scared. I love that I have a record of this precious time of growth and recovery, and I hope this work may inspire others as well.
For more information about this project, to view the collection in its entirety, and to read more about how this project relates to my quarantine, visit: https://www.libbysaylor.com/quarantine.html
3. I moved into a new and spacious apartment with my partner (**FIRST-TIME COHABITATION ALERT**) and we have never been happier.
Top center: Happy GA. Lower left: Injury on moving day (my partner and I had to move both of our places into one place with no help due to social distancing, and our bodies took about two weeks to recover). Lower middle: Moving van outside my ole’ place that I don’t miss one bit. Lower right: Home sweet home in the new digs (it’s not home until you put your plants in the window).
4. With this new apartment comes a new and highly spacious kitchen. I have therefore been baking (and eating) more sweets than I have ever before in my entire life. No guilt. Only pleasure. And even though I’ve been baking in excess, I have been eating in moderation, stretching it out, and sharing with my partner, reluctantly. Over the span of two months, I’ve baked…
Top left: Blueberry pancakes. Top second from left: Strawberry jam. Top third from left: Biscuits to eat with said jam. Top right: Oreo bites. Lower right: Blueberry muffins. Lower left: The worst-looking and best-tasting birthday cake (for my partner) that I have ever made in my entire life (chocolate cake with strawberry frosting).
5. Since for the most part in quarantine, I do not go out to eat anymore, do not do any takeout, and do not even eat lunch from my beloved vegetarian food truck (just outside my office at work), I have been preparing my own food for 95% of my week. Maybe once a week, I will get takeout just to get a break from cooking and to support local businesses. But I have historically had tummy aches after virtually every meal for most of my entire life. And I have recently noticed that I never complain of tummy trouble now and almost never have an upset stomach. Wow! I have always made food for myself and have always aimed to use whole and fresh foods, rarely using processed foods whenever possible. But now that I do this for every single meal in my day, it’s obviously making an incredible difference. Tummy troubles begone!
Top left: Baba ghanoush. Top middle: Chicken with pesto. Top right: Tacos. Lower left: Pasta with bacon and tomatoes. Lower Right: Chicken noodle soup.
6. Since moving into our new apartment, we have also been graced with a beautiful walking trail, conveniently located just outside of our building (looking outside our window, we can literally see walkers, runners, and bikers going by at all hours of the day). From all of this baking and cooking, as well as sitting all day in unsupportive cushioned chairs working remotely, the need to move my body is more important than ever. To be able to throw on some exercise clothes and step outside of my door to go on a 3-mile walk is nothing short of heaven sent, and I am grateful every day for this.
After dinner walk on the trail.
7. This nature image leads me to my next highlight, and one that involves magic, enchantment, and fairies…
I have always been interested in fairies ever since I was little and my grandmother would take my sister and I into the woods to look for them. My artistic style has always walked the line between “photo and paint, light and dark, pattern and field, and magic and reality,” so this transition into the fairy realm is not out of left field. Quarantine has created such a quiet space within my life, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and literally. I’m no longer enduring a long commute on a crowded train, no longer walking several blocks through city streets to get to my office, no longer under fluorescent lights for 8 hours a day, and no longer coming home with very little energy to do much of anything other than eat and veg.
This quiet has opened a space for me to explore something far more delicate, far more innocent, and far more loving than any other subject matter I have yet explored in my artistic career. As of now, I’m working on creating a collection of fairy profiles, each one with a small image, a fairy name, and a description of that fairy’s specific personality. I hope to transform this raw material into some form of book for children. For now, I’m in the process of discovering the fairies and being a channel and a voice for these precious little beings. I’m so excited to see where this project takes me!
8. For the first time in 35 years, my extended family and I will not get to spend a week together at the Jersey Shore. For 35 years, our families from Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, Texas, and the UK, have gathered together for seven days during the last week of June to catch up, connect, enjoy the beach, enjoy good food, play games, and cultivate our bonds. Because quarantine inhibits our gathering this year, we have been holding regular weekly Zoom extended family calls and have been communicating more with each other than we ever have before. We are all aging, we are all changing, and we are all in need of loving support during this time. This is yet another COVID/quarantine gift that I feel so grateful for.
9. Speaking of electronic calls, I have also been able to chat more frequently with my beloved Tribe (spiritual soul friend group). Over the years, we have typically only met several times a year for certain Tribe traditions (Renaissance Faire, Christmas Brunch, and we are in our third and beautiful year of holding our annual Tribal Council–a weekend away in nature). For the rest of the time, when we could not meet, we would always just keep in touch via text. But since quarantine, we have been participating in weekly Skype checkins. To be lucky enough to have even found a tribe is one thing (never in my dreams did I ever imagine I would have such a lovely circle of supportive soul folks), but to be able to touch base with them weekly is such a gift. I suppose before COVID-19, all of our lives were far more chaotic. We have also found during this pandemic, that we are all growing and changing much more rapidly than normal, and our personal challenges have felt more escalated and intense. We need each other now more than ever, since we all face weekly, if not daily, spiritual and emotional struggles and triumphs worth sharing and reflecting on. Thank you World, for my Tribe.
Tribe Skype call, June 14, 2020.
10. Through everything, I have been so blessed with the gift of partnership, sharing the ups and downs, twists and turns, and joys and sorrows, with my lovely and supportive partner. I don’t want to think about what my life would have been like, going through these last few months without him, and I feel so grateful for this human being. To many more years of love and joy! xo
I wish everyone a happy and safe quarantine, and I hope to see you on the other side of this, with hopefully more engorged hearts, wiser perspectives, and stronger souls. We got this…